Healthcare is a competitive field, and patient loyalty is harder to earn than ever today. Patients are aware they have many choices to go elsewhere if they’re not getting the care and attention they deserve. With every interaction, from calling a medical provider to make an appointment to coming in for treatment, patients are evaluating how quickly and thoroughly their healthcare practitioners are able to be.
As a result, healthcare practices of all types and sizes are turning to the virtual receptionists at live answering services in order to better serve their patients. From small clinics to large physician groups, healthcare practices are seeing proof that providing prompt, personalized care at every step increases patient loyalty. Here are the top 4 ways a live answering service increases patient loyalty:
1. Attention 24/7
The friendly, professional receptionists at an answering service promptly answer all calls with a customized greeting, acting as an extension of the practice. The receptionists are knowledgeable about each medical practice and can respond to and transfer calls based on the practice’s priorities and procedures. The virtual receptionists can also help patients schedule appointments or find answers to their questions, whenever they call regardless of the time of day or night. The emphasis shifts to what’s most convenient for the patient, which helps them feel valued and cared for.
2. Protecting Privacy
Answering service receptionists will take the time to know the clientele and the practice so that they know the right questions to ask and answers to give each patient. In addition, each practice has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that patients’ personal health information (PHI) is protected at all times. Accidental exposure of PHI will not only send a patient packing, but it will also open the practice up to legal and financial woes. Answering services that truly specialize in the medical field will be dedicated to training and certifying their virtual receptionists to be HIPAA compliant so that patients’ PHI is protected in accordance with strict HIPAA guidelines.
3. Valuing Time
Some practices use virtual receptionists for after-hours calls only, while others use an answering service to manage calls full-time or during peak times when in-house receptionists are busy with patients or other calls. Either way, patients are attended to whether they’re calling the practice or have just walked through the practice’s doors. When the front desk receptionists aren’t tied to answering ringing phones, they are free to focus on checking patients in and out and on answering their questions without distraction. The result is that patients receive attention sooner, saving them time whether they’re on the phone or in the waiting room.
4. Emergency Response
Medical practices must be able to respond to emergencies at all hours of the day or night, and an answering service offers 24/7 emergency response. Each practice can specify what qualifies as an emergency and provide specific guidelines for the answering service receptionists so that patients are cared for by the right person in the most timely manner. Answering service virtual receptionists can also set urgent dispatch procedures in motion, reassuring patients that help is on the way.
If you’d like to discuss how the virtual receptionists at a live answering service might increase your patient loyalty, contact Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. We offer month-to-month service agreements to meet the needs of any healthcare practice regardless of size.
Secure HIPAA/HiTech messaging, appointment scheduling, and customized communication solutions save you time and money while optimizing patient care. Our excellent reputation, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.